Here is a simple way small businesses can offer their customers an advantage in doing business with them as opposed to their larger competitors. Just make yourself available.
Many businesses place roadblocks and barriers to customer interaction – voice mail, call screening, auto attendants, unnamed email boxes, etc. Barriers that limit the timeliness of customer interaction and hinder quick response to customer questions and issues.
Sure, a level of technology between a customer and your business is an advantage – call routing, 24/7 access to leave messages, etc. But I've noticed many companies using technology to essentially hide from customers.
Small businesses can use their availability as a huge advantage in winning and keeping customers. Accept calls, promptly return messages, implement on-line live-chat and instant messaging, and establish clear internal policy on escalations to quickly resolve customer issues.
Customers want personal attention. And the simplest way to deliver it is to be available and quicken your interaction and attention to customer needs.
Do you agree too many businesses hide from customers?